The new Casio G-Shock Gulfmaster GWN-1000 series watches are the first G-Shocks to be equipped with both the Triple Sensor 3 and Smart Access technology.
In this latest version of Casio's Triple Sensor, the Gulfmaster provides readings of compass bearing, atmospheric pressure, altitude and temperature.
The Smart Access technology lets its advanced features be operated easily. You do not need to use a combination of buttons to see the measurement you want. The sensor requires just one button.
In addition, with Casio's Tough Solar high-capacity solar-charging system, the Gulfmaster is supposed to last around two years on a full charge. It takes 16 hours under bright sunlight to get a full charge from zero.
The Multi Band 6 technology allows the device to receive radio signals for accurate timekeeping. But the relevant signal towers are in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and China. So you may not get a signal here.
The Gulfmaster is shock resistant, and also water resistant down to 200m.
The blue/black review unit, the GWN-100B-1B, comes with a blue bezel and a black band. It also comes in all black. Overall, the design looks pleasing, yet rugged. It resembles a diver's watch, with a big watch face with a bezel diameter of around 45mm and nice luminous markers.
An inset dial displays the tide graph with a red arrow indicating low or high tide on the top half of the dial. I checked it against the National Environment Agency's tide timings and the arrow points roughly to the tide levels of the day.
An LCD screen takes up nearly the entire bottom half of the watch face. It displays the different readings and modes.
On the right side of the casing is a crown - for time adjustment - flanked by two buttons. On the left side, the Triple Sensor is similarly sandwiched.
Unsure of what the buttons do? Turn to the back of the case to check the markings that indicate their functions. Using the Gulfmaster is easy. To get to the desired sensor, press the lower right button. This is the sequence: barometer, digital compass, altimeter, thermometer.
Lacking a barometer, I had nothing to check the Gulfmaster against. But the digital compass is as accurate as the one on my iPhone 5s, and showed the same reading when I moved both of them around.
The altimeter reading was 261m when I was on level 61 of One Raffles Place. As the height of this 63-floor building is 282m, I reckon the reading to be quite accurate.
When I took a reading on the floor of my study, then climbed onto a chair with the device, there was an difference of 2m. So it is accurate even with smaller dimensions.
The thermometer is equally accurate. On a hot afternoon, it read 33 deg C, agreeing exactly with the Yahoo Weather app. In my study room, where the thermostat is set at 26 deg C, the Gulfmaster registered 26.4 deg C.
The only complaint I have is the band. It feels cheap and may scratch easily.
The $549 price tag looks big for anyone but a watch enthusiast. But for its great looks, durability and features, I say this is a steal.
Water resistance: Down to 200m
Value for money: 4/5
This article was first published on July 30, 2014.
Get a copy of Digital Life, The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.